“Now, seriously. <…> As if after a couple of years it was not discovered that our children grow up on not our dolls at all and take an example from them. Maybe it’s time to think about it? ”Butina asked.
“I have been working on this issue for a long time. When I went to kindergartens in the Kirov region, my parents said that they were also worried [какими игрушками играют их дети]… There is no concrete initiative yet, but I do not rule out its emergence. I am studying this topic, I will work with the Ministry of Education, because this is a national issue, and there can be no opponents here. As a woman and a teacher by education, I understand that the future of our children depends on their development in the first years of life, ”Maria Butina told Znak.com.
On October 26, 2019, Maria Butina, who was serving a sentence in the United States on charges of illegal lobbying, returned to Russia. She was detained in the summer of 2018 on suspicion of conspiracy to work as an agent of a foreign state. According to the prosecution, she tried to establish ties with American conservatives. Butina admitted that her activities were supervised by a Russian official – former senator and deputy chairman of the Central Bank Alexander Torshin.
As it followed from the charges brought by the FBI, she and Torshin received the approval of a representative of the “presidential administration of Russia” for their project to establish a shadow channel of communication between the Kremlin and the Republicans. The establishment of contact took place through the NRA, and possibly through it Russia also funded Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
During the investigation of Butina’s case, the FBI requested information about Torshin from Spanish law enforcement agencies. On August 21, 2013 – when the operation to introduce Butina into the NRA was still being planned – Torshin was supposed to fly to Mallorca for the birthday of his friend and colleague Alexander Romanov. At the hotel and at the airport, Spanish police were already waiting for him to be arrested in the case of money laundering by the Taganskaya criminal group. However, at the last moment Torshin changed his mind about flying. The Spanish police are sure: Torshin was warned by the Russian prosecutor’s office, to which the Spaniards sent inquiries about Torshin and the Taganskaya organized criminal group.
Romanov, however, was nevertheless detained in December 2013 and sentenced to 3 years 9 months for money laundering and forgery, and also sentenced to a fine of € 4.244 million (with the verdict of the Regional Court of the Balearic Islands, Spain, dated May 26, 2016, read The Insider). The court found the proven episode of money laundering from a raider seizure by investing in the purchase of the Mar y Pins hotel in Palma de Mallorca under the guise of a fictitious “loan”. The hotel was eventually confiscated in favor of the state and sold at auction in 2017 after the verdict entered into force.
Romanov met Torshin back in 1995, when he worked at the Central Bank – deputy chairman Torshin was his boss. The Taganskaya organized criminal group was formed in the late 80s and was based in the center of Moscow, having at its disposal about a hundred “bayonets”. She made her initial capital on theft of cars and the supply of drugs, then she began to “protect” businessmen. In the 2000s, raider seizures became the main activity of the group.
In the documents of the investigation in Spain, which The Insider got acquainted with, there is Torshin’s personal card (photo, phone number, affiliation with an organized criminal group, connections). 12 pages of concretization of the accusation directly to Torshin, a file of transcripts of intercepted telephone conversations between Torshin himself and Romanov, or between Romanov and other defendants in the case, where they discuss Torshin’s guidelines, as well as documents related to the Taganskaya organized criminal group and the criminal case of Alexander Romanov.